The Baltimore Sun

Elementary school students in the county's Gifted and Talented Program will showcase some of the more advanced curriculum offered in the system Tuesday night at Veterans Elementary School.

The 140 students presenting were chosen by their teachers based on work during the first half of the school year, said Linda Jensen, a resource teacher at the school system's central office.

"They really loved it," said Jensen, an organizer of the event. "Their enthusiasm and their confidence is very exciting."

Students will cover several topics including oceanography, ancient civilizations, archaeology, creative writing, mathematics and technology.

They will share work done in conjunction with NASA, the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and the Baltimore Museum of Industry, Jensen said. In addition, students from Lisbon Elementary will use a model to demonstrate ecological issues facing the Chesapeake Bay, and Hammond Elementary students will show how they analyzed data to determine effectiveness of household detergents, she said.

Presenters will receive feedback on their work.

"They can use that to get better and better," she said. "The students get something they can take back and improve on what they are doing."

The county has held similar events at the middle and high school levels for years, but this is the second year for the showcase for elementary students, Jensen said.

"For the younger kids, evening events are harder," Jensen said. "We finally figured out a format that works. Last year was very successful."

The event will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

A look at health care

Fourth-graders at Talbott Springs Elementary School got an up-close glimpse of health care Thursday when they visited Harbor Hospital in Baltimore.

The 72 students toured the facility, where they split into smaller groups and rotated through a series of 20-minute sessions led by doctors and other health care professionals. The students learned about hand-washing, safety and first aid and exercise and nutrition. They also played a game called "Who Wants to be a Health Hero?"

The field trip is part of the school's partnership with MedStar Health.

Students were extremely receptive, said Nancy Thompson, principal at Talbott Springs.

"They came back, and their eyes were sparkling," she said. "One of the kids said to me 'I don't want to be a doctor of people because that is gross, but I want to be a veterinarian.'"

The partnership, which included $10,000 from MedStar Health, has helped to pay for a series of activities at the school, Thompson said.

"It has been a really fabulous partnership," the principal said. "I could not have funded them otherwise."

In exchange for the funding, MedStar has asked the school for photographs of the activities and for artwork from students that will be hung in the pediatric unit at one of its medical centers, Thompson said.

"This program is a blessing to our school," she said.

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